Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series – Act I – 4-7 November 2021

Friday 5th November 2021. Decks were awash and faces whipped by a 15-18 knot easterly as contestants surfed under spinnakers at nigh-on 18 knots on this bracing first day. The 40 teams on the start have now got the measure of this meeting, as this 9th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series season is a chance to try out the race area which will host the J/70 World Championship (14-22 October 2022) organised by Yacht Club de Monaco in partnership with FxPro.

A cut above

With the Worlds in sight, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series has become an event not to be missed as evidenced by the first-ever attendance of teams like the Turks on Eker. A test event for some, the regattas are qualifying events for the Monegasques determined to shine at home.

The level of competition exudes talent at the top. Between the Americans on Good to Go and Monegasques on Junda led by Ludovico Fassitelli, the magic is working. Far from hanging back, Good to Go set the pace for the day’s first three races. Like a metronome, the crew’s consistency dominated with a 2-3-3 taking the Stars n’ Stripes to the top of the provisional ranking, closely followed just three points adrift by Yacht Club de Monaco’s Junda whose crew did not miss a beat, even allowing themselves the luxury of widening the gap. Aboard is Leonardo Bonelli, a young sailor from the Sports Section, learning the ropes and relishing the challenge in position 1.

Tomorrow is another day

Many of the favourites took risks today but it wasn’t until the end of the fifth race (worst results not counting) to determine the ranking.The battles were intense, and the pressure high as evidenced by the number of general recalls. A scenario some must avoid repeating or risk being dropped from the overall ranking. But tomorrow is another day, enough to create an opportunity to reshuffle the pack for those nursing their wounds. With a 15-knot westerly in the offing, the contest will be tight with the first warning signal set for 11.00am.